Director Aditya Dhar brings to us a movie with the safest genre in recent times: patriotism. Especially when in the last few years where nationalism and right wing has strengthened not only in India, but throughout the world. Now, such is the epicentre of this movie that it was bound to nab the hardcore right wingers and hyper nationalists, a term used these days very loosely. Regardless, the movie is crafted very intelligently and is hands down one of the most realistic portrayals of the bravado of the Indian Army. The pace is kept well throughout, the characters are very real yet admirable to the extreme ( Ladies, how can you not swoon after Vicky Kaushal dressed in Army attire) and the story telling is excellent, neatly dividing itself into chapters reminding us of Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Even the most liberal souls will enjoy this movie because of the precise direction by Dhar, who does not aims for a masterpiece but delivers an excellent and realistic entertainer otherwise.
URI THE SURGICAL STRIKE begins with the soldiers traveling through the forests of Manipur, entertaining themselves with one of them singing when there is a ambush at their cavalry. The assault is successful, and sets up the base of the movie perfectly- drawing in the crowd with emotions. The army subsequently avenges the ambush by a counter measure inside Myanmar and destroying a terrorist base, marking the first surgical strike. The movie then proceeds to go slack (not in substance but in suppressed anger), showing us the other life of a soldier.
We see Major Vihan Shergill (Kaushal) and other officers meeting the (not mentioned but obviously) Prime Minister in a party, where he conveys his personal life problems to the aces. He is awarded a desk job so as to enable him an easy care for his ageing mother with severe Alzheimer’s disease. He adapts to it, but simmers inside, yearning for action. The next chapter allows us the major attack on the Uri base in Kashmir, where Kaushal’s brother in law gets martyred. Follows the funeral scene which was inarguably the most effective scene of the movie (based on real event). The way Kaushal chokes up on his war cry was enacted excellently, and high praise and honour to the director for including this. The next chapters of the movie include obviously the planning and the implementation of the surgical strike in our dearest neighbour’s illegally occupied land.
Technically, the movie is solid, with all around good performances (Kaushal, Gautam, Paresh Rawal). The action sequences are well crafted, and thankfully we do not see any of the unnecessary fight scenes with lofting punches or kicks throwing away their targets for hundreds of metres. But the winner here is direction, which does not let us get bored even for a second while never straying away from reality. The only mediocre aspect of the movie is its music as, any of the song fails to stay in our minds for long. Nevertheless, the movie is a great entertainer, and a must watch for any day.